Original description as Otopharynx lithobates:
- Oliver, Michael K.. 1989. "Otopharynx brooksi and O. lithobates". in: D. Eccles & E. Trewavas, Malawian cichlid fishes - The Classification of some Haplochromine genera. pp 161-165 (crc00163) (abstract)
- Otopharynx walteri, with type locality at Nakantenga Island, Lake Malawi, Malawi. Determiner: Cleaver et al., 2009
Conservation: Otopharynx lithobates is evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species as (VU) vulnerable (2006). Nevertheless, Otopharynx lithobates is among the most abundant non-mbuna haplochromine species on rocky shores in southern Lake Malawi. I have observed upwards of 100 individuals on a single dive on Domwe Island, where it was most frequent at depths between 6 m and 20 m. Since its known locations are within the protected waters of Lake Malawi National Park, the status of this species is arguably more secure than that of many demersal "trawl" species, for example. The aquarium trade is now supplied with Otopharynx lithobates from captive breeding.